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10 Quick Tips on Buying a Business for Sale


1. Ensure that the business is actually for sale and that you are dealing with a serious seller.

2. Have your finance in order before making an offer. It shows credibility and gives you a better negotiating position.

3. Engage in the services of an experienced commercial lawyer, with expertise on both the buy-side and sell-side of business sale transactions.

4. Have your accountant analyse the financial position of the business and ask the right questions to gain clarity.

5. Research and understand the industry of the specific business, before meeting with a seller.

6. If you have a genuine concern at a meeting with the seller and the broker, politely raise it at the time. Walking outside and raising the concern to the broker to relay to the owner minutes after the meeting, does not give a positive impression to a seller, as the specific purpose of the meeting is to answer your questions and for you to gain clarity on the operation.

7. When submitting your offer to buy a business, put it in writing and clearly specify your terms and conditions.

8. Keep your focus on the bigger picture. If a business isn't operating at its potential, the reasons for its underperformance could be vast. It's your job to find the solutions and to capitalise on the opportunities that the business and its weaknesses may present.

9. When buying a business to bolt - on to an existing operation, ensure that any radical changes to the business are implemented after a reasonable period of time. This will help ensure that relationships with key staff, clients and suppliers remain in tact.

10. Complex offers are often met with complex counter offers. Keep things reasonably simple.

To discuss buying or selling a business, call us on 02 8001 6491.

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